The Florida Bar board certified city Assistant General Counsels Sonya Harrell and Paige Johnston in city, county and local government law.
A 1994 graduate of Stetson University College of Law, Harrell practices in the tort litigation department, where she handles personal injury, workers’ compensation and civil rights litigation.
Before she joined the General Counsel’s Office in 2016, Harrell was a special magistrate for the city of Jacksonville Beach and an associate professor at Florida Coastal School of Law. She taught classes including Florida practice and procedure, Florida constitutional law, state and local government, torts, evidence and insurance and professional responsibility.
Johnston is chief of the Legislative Affairs Department.
She graduated from the University of Florida Levin College of Law in 2000 and joined the General Counsel’s Office in 2012.
Johnston provides legal and legislative counsel to the city’s boards and commissions, primarily City Council and its subcommittees and the Planning Commission.
She has served as the primary legal counsel for the Waterways Commission, the St. Johns River Ferry Commission and ad hoc committees of the Council.
According to The Florida Bar website, only about 5,000 (7%) of the attorneys licensed to practice in Florida are board certified.
Certification requires peer review, established experiences over time, dedication in a specific field and passing an eight-hour written examination.